TERRE HAUTE —
Southeastern Indiana — Missouri Valley Conference recruiting hotbed?
The closer you get to Cincinnati on Interstate 74 the more MVC recruits you find — past and present.
The latest is Greensburg point guard Bryant McIntosh. The junior has committed to Indiana State.
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound distributor has long been coveted by the Sycamores, and they got their man late Sunday night. McIntosh said his relationship with ISU coach Greg Lansing was the primary reason he choose ISU.
“I have a great relationship with Coach Lansing. It really developed since June and July. It’s close to home and it’s a smaller school like Greensburg. It’s a perfect fit,” McIntosh said Monday night.
McIntosh averages 17 points and 11 assists per game for the Class 3A No. 1 Pirates. Greensburg also has talented players Sean Sellers and Macy Holdsworth, among others, and the Pirates are off to an 11-0 start after they were 23-1 in 2012.
McIntosh follows in the footsteps of other Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference standouts. Evansville guard Colt Ryan played in nearby Batesville. And, of course, ISU fans fondly remember Batesville product Michael Menser, who starred at ISU from 1997-2001.
“Michael is a great role model for all of us, and the MVC has had a lot of southeastern Indiana guys. Colt Ryan, MVC has been a good fit for our conference,” McIntosh said.
The last ISU recruit from the southeastern quadrant of Indiana was Madison’s Norman Wells, who played at ISU for one season in 2006-07.
McIntosh is eager to put his own stamp on the ISU program. He will arrive in the 2014-15 season and could be an heir apparent to current ISU point guard Jake Odum.
“I’m a point guard, so I’ll try to fill in for Odum — I say try because Odum is a great point guard. I can shoot it, but my best asset is finding the open guy,” said McIntosh, who also said the biggest asset he brings to the table is his “high quality character.”
McIntosh began to turn heads with his underclassman success at Greensburg as well as his participation on the Eric Gordon All-Stars AAU team based out of Indianapolis. Sellers, his Greensburg teammate and also a sought-after recruit, was also on the Eric Gordon team.
Lansing showed interest early, but McIntosh didn’t firm up his commitment when he made his last visit to ISU during the Sycamores’ 77-75 victory over Illinois State on Dec. 30.
“I wanted to see a game. I’m really close to my family and we all wanted to see the atmosphere [at Hulman Center] and how coach handled himself. We were impressed,” McIntosh said. “We wanted to know what to major in. We wanted to meet the academic adviser. It took a couple of visits to answer the questions.”
ISU’s recent success — the Sycamores have gone 2-1 at the Diamond Head Classic and started 2-1 in the MVC — made the decision even easier for McIntosh.
“They’ve been really successful. They play tough competition, and I’m a competitor, so you have to love that. They beat a good Miami team that I believe will make the tournament. I can see Indiana State making it this year and next year for sure. It was right for me,” McIntosh said.
At various stages of his recruitment, Michigan, Indiana, Xavier and New Mexico showed interest. He had scholarship offers from Ball State, Kent State, Miami of Ohio and Wright State.
McIntosh is the first commitment in what should be a large 2014-15 class for ISU. Per NCAA rules, ISU representatives are not allowed to comment until McIntosh signs his letter of intent.